Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Are Aussie ATCs Inefficient?

Old 11th Sep 2004, 02:53
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: ABS
Posts: 2
Are Aussie ATCs inefficient? You be the judge...

I'm a little sick of reading unfounded allegations from certain persons, entirely lacking in any statistical backing whatsoever, about Australia's inefficient controllers and airspace design. With the help of a colleague, I've prepared this little table so that you may all be your own judges, rather than relying on emotive claptrap from these very same personalities.

Even accounting for the fact that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, these figures (particularly the pink section) quite succinctly show that Aussies handle more flights per controller, for longer periods of time and distance, and do so at considerably less cost than in other first world countries. Perhaps these other nations should be attempting to emulate us, rather than vice versa! In any case, these figures confirm that there should be no cultural cringe.

Last edited by Statman; 11th Sep 2004 at 03:54.
Statman is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 03:54
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Posts: 618

I am sure you will agree.

Now we await the arrival of the skeptics entourage who will be doing their best to:

-shoot the messenger

-question the post becasue it is anonymous

-question the source of the figures

-tell us what they 'beleive' to be the alternative view

(Have I missed one?)
Uncommon Sense is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 04:01
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Sydney NSW Australia
Posts: 3,049
8 major Hub airports? and to answer the question in the topic, considering we have Less than 10% of total passenger departures compared to the EU and USA............. yes.
Ultralights is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 04:13
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Posts: 618

Would that not just reflect the size of the aircraft being used?

ATC control aircraft, not passenger numbers.

You should be directing that criticism, if it is one, at the airline companies if anyone.

The blip on the radar makes exactly the same amount of work to ATC if it is an A340 or a Jabiru.

(In fact the Jabiru takes longer to process and probably more work if you wanted to really argue the point)

How would you calculated in an MD11 Freighter using your logic?

Or GA Aircraft that are not cpatured by passenger number statistics?

Perhaps you have some fuzzy logic in the ATC efficiency equation that I have missed.
Uncommon Sense is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 04:21
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 561

Come on!

Oz ATC is about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of the FAA or Eurocontrol. READ the PINK section.

8 Hub airports for a population of 20 million is pretty good and indicates the vast size of Oz. Oz has less than 1/10 the population of USA, but has about 1/4 the number of hubs.

Oz ATC looks after 11% of the earths surface. Done by 600 controllers from two enroute centres. (1100 controllers in total in all Oz ATC facilities). Pretty efficient by any measure.


Last edited by DirtyPierre; 11th Sep 2004 at 04:36.
DirtyPierre is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 04:25
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Sydney NSW Australia
Posts: 3,049
ok, i stand corrected, i will retract my statement, i just misread the figures.
Ultralights is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 12:06
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 277
I'm sure Aussie, in fact I know aussie air traffic controllers are good but 8 hub airports? If you include cities the size of darwin and hobart in these stats then you've probably got at least 200 or more hub cities in the USA. The high density area in the US (assuming this is the eastern seaboard) has about 2500 flights in the air on a given morning. The E gates at O'hare are busier than YBBN. I'm guessing europe would probably be the same.

Aussie controllers are good but I think this is accredited to the fact that there hasn't been a large catastrophic air accident in Australia's past. Not the number of a/c they push around the sky.
druglord is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 13:49
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Posts: 618
The Stats actually make no connection with safety, but this too would be an interesting study

[Wouldn't it be even more interesting to see a similar comparison that included the non-operational side of the ATC bureaucracy.

I am sure we can match the FAA and Eurocontrol 'fat-cat for fat-cat in the 'bloatation battle'!]

Who knows - maybe the next CA negotiations will make some mention of these efficiencies and reward, recompense and acknowledge instead of the usual 'Chainsaw Dunlap' approach?
Uncommon Sense is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 15:26
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: in a suitcase
Posts: 82
To answer your question Statman ----- YES!

Those of us who have ventured OUTSIDE the Goldfish Bowl (OZ) to see how it IS REALLY DONE are appauled.

Actually we have a saying: If we let those idiots in Aussie ATC loose for an hour anywhere like Europe or Hongkong they would f k it up so well it would take a month to sort it out.

leftfrontside is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 18:35
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: UAE
Age: 59
Posts: 516
fish hmmmm

Actually Left front side....

I think you need to get out more.

As a small matter of fact, Aussie ATCOs are very well regarded around the world as friendly, efficient and flexible controllers.

there are a pile of them in the Middle East, ever venture that far out of the gold fish bowl?

Also a number of them work or worked in Honkers, and there are also a bundle of them in Eurocontrol....

So basically, your thought processes are like your spelling...appalling!

(one of those idiot ATCs that currently works outside the goldfish bowl)
divingduck is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2004, 22:21
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: World's most livable city
Posts: 5
I wouldn't have bothered, divingduck - just a bitter, washed-up old ex-Ansett 'pilot', forced out of the most livable country in the world up to a place where spitting on the footpaths is considered good form. A quick review of his previous posts shows a vitriolic hatred of all the old favourites - Qantas, ATSB, women, Aussie air trafficers, ground staff - in fact, anything remotely connected with Australia (which he stoutly declares is a sh*thole), and his ignominious departure from it. And yet, as is so often the case with these rather pathetic individuals, the poor old dear just can't help coming back to the Dunnunda forums.

His moronic tirade belongs on The figures are unequivocal and speak for themselves.

Last edited by Mode SHHH; 11th Sep 2004 at 22:39.
Mode SHHH is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 00:13
  #12 (permalink)  

Just Binos
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Mackay, Australia
Age: 67
Posts: 1,397
What is "appauling" is that somebody with such simplistic views could ever get to the stage of occupying the "leftfrontside." I suspect most reasonable airline captains would have cringed reading his post.

To the subject at hand, I don't believe these statistics prove anything per se, though like most statistics they can be made to appear to prove anything you like. To me it is utterly pointless to use statistics to prove efficiency. We have a few marginal controllers, a few geniuses and the rest of us fall into the competent majority, just like, I suspect, every other country in the world..

While some continue to suffer from the great aussie cringe which has it that anything outside Oz is automatically better (and it has to be admitted there's a few 89ers in their midst), Oz controllers simply do what they are paid to do with the equipment they have available to them, in accordance with the regulations set in concrete for them, not by them. The number of Oz controllers working successfully all around the world, as divingduck mentioned, is testament to the fact they can adjust to work under any other conditions as well. Any suggestion to the contrary is unsupportable.

No doubt leftfrontside knows personally of scores of Oz controllers who didn't measure up to overseas requirements, but I honestly don't know of any. I have also had the pleasure of working alongside several US controllers from Reagan's era. To a man they have been gentlemen and scholars, but only one have I seen who was a natural controller who made everything look easy.

Please try to remember that most of our standards, particularly procedural ones are remnants of the 50's and could do with a good overhaul, but that is not the job of line controllers who do what they can with what they are given.
Binoculars is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 02:27
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: On the Beach
Posts: 169

I think your last line may have been just the 'bait'..... '

......Cue The Monkey'
Shitsu-Tonka is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 03:27
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: YMML
Posts: 2,496
And from the same report.It would appear that even the Europeans would like to have the US system for better cost effectiveness.

8.11 Final Considerations

8.11.1 The above analysis has identified major performance differences, both in terms of costeffectiveness and efficiency-productivity. Clearly, more detailed analysis is needed to
understand the causes for these differences in performance.

Potential causes for differences in performance include:

1. Operational differences, such as traffic complexity. However, this factor can explain only a portion of the economic performance difference.

2. From the organisational/institutional side, the fragmentation of the European ATM systemcertainly contributes to reducing overall cost-effectiveness by the multiplication of fixedcosts and assets, and higher co-ordination and transaction costs. In addition, the
European fragmentation does not allow potential economies of scale to be exploited.Organisational inefficiencies might also result from non-optimal airspace design and civil/military arrangements in Europe. The relatively better performance in the US has so far been achieved by a State-run organisation.

3. From the ANS management side, the observed difference in average productivity of keytaff is compelling and raises some questions about staff shortage in the European ATM system. There appears to be at the same time a waste of capacity, with excess human resources being employed in low traffic periods, and chronic capacity (and staff) shortage in busy periods, resulting in very high ATFM delays in Europe. Employment conditions and labour law affecting manpower are a management, not an individual controllerís productivity issue. There are important differences in productivity within the European ANSPs as documented in Chapter 5, and the relatively "poor" European average also masks some noticeably good performers. As most European ANSPs free themselves from
direct governmental control but remain statutory monopolies, there is a need to more effectively challenge their cost-effectiveness.

4. From the capacity-demand management side, ANS costs are mainly driven by the ATC capacity provided, not so the capacity used by airspace users. All else being equal, greater
cost-effectiveness is achieved when the match between capacity provided and capacity used is optimised at any given time in order to minimise capacity waste or capacity shortage. This optimisation will greatly depend on the operational/managerial flexibility of each ANSP, the performance of flow management at European level by the CFMU, and policies for the management of airport and en-route capacity. Whether the integrated US
ATM system has a comparative advantage in this respect is unclear, and further comparative research is needed to identify best practices.


8.12 Conclusions

8.12.1 This chapter has characterised some of the key features of both the US and European ATM systems from the traffic demand, structural, safety, delays, and economic points of view.
" There appear to be no significant differences in air transport safety and ATM safety performance across both sides of the Atlantic;
" Structurally, both systems are rather similar, with similar airspace volume, traffic concentration around major airports, and average route length;" Traffic volumes are very different. IFR and VFR traffic in the US are respectively 2 times and 3.5 times higher than in Europe;

" There are 47 civil and military en-route ANSPs in Europe as compared with one integrated provider in the US;
" Organisationally, there are 58 ACCs in Europe and 21 ACCs in the US;
" From a punctuality/delay point of view, both the US and the European ATM systems are struggling to cope with demand and, as a result, passengers suffer high levels of delays, although of a very different nature; " The total number of ATCOs and total staff are fairly similar across both sides of the Atlantic;
" The European ATM system is about half as cost-effective as its US counterpart;
" The productivity of US ATCOs is about twice as large as its European counterpart;

8.12.2 The PRC considers that this initial comparison of US and European ATM systems raises questions about the productivity of the European ATM system which warrant further study.
Understanding the root causes for the wide performance gaps requires further intensive cooperative work with all concerned parties. European ANSPs should participate actively in the
benchmarking exercise being undertaken by the PRC, in co-operation with interested parties.

8.12.3 More and better information than is currently available in Europe will be needed to conduct this benchmarking exercise.

Report can be found at this website.

Entire report can be found here

Aint google grand.
OZBUSDRIVER is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 05:17
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 1,300
They did pretty well in Baghdad or are not the military included.?
Milt is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 05:38
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1998
Location: A long way from home with lots more sand.
Age: 51
Posts: 418
Bino's last lines are the key: the outdated, politically correct procedures. I am sure most controllers here try their best. Flying in and out of SY frequently I can only shake my head in disgust at the whole system when, for example, we have a 35 minute CTMS push delay, push accordingly, then get 42 minutes of airborne holding! Or having speed restrictions imposed then cancelled 5 times on a ML-SY sector. And this is mostly in benign weather, although you KNOW you will be assigned the least favourable runway WRT wind, and can usually see the airport from 100 miles away. I have flown, albeit briefly, in the USA and although not a supporter of America, their controlling at Primary airfields puts us in the Dark Ages. (rant over!!!)
clear to land is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 07:07
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Labia
Posts: 19
Aussie ATC's are very well trained and very professional, but unless they are working on a busy approach unit, or on a tight sector that has thunderstorms, they don't get to use their skills.

8 hubs, ha. More like 2 hubs and 6 regionals that encounter a sprinkling of heavy jets.

Diving Duck, Aussie ATC's are well respected overseas, but so are North Americans and Europeans. The fact is that most people who move overseas, after their initial period of training in the new location, will be very proficient. There have been some horror stories, and Aussies have their fair share of these, as do the North Americans and Europeans.

There are a shitload of great controllers in Oz, but there is an equal number of panic merchants. Statman, dont get too caught up with your lies, damn lies and statistics. Instead, ask yourself if your one of the good controllers or panic merchants. Are you one of the people that are good to have around when it turns to shit three times a year, or are you one of the people that other people sigh about when they see that they have to work alongside you ?
tonto papadopolous is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 08:18
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 590
Looks like some individuals like to gripe even if they were given direct tracking from say Darwin to a 12 mile final 16R Sydney.

From my limited 14 years or so operating both domestically and internationally, I would have to say the guys and girls in ATC in Oz do overall a bloody good job.

When help is required they are there to assist and do so efficiently and with great skill I might add.

Had to shut down an engine some years back and dump fuel at some ungodly hour of the morning over YMML and return.
After a pan call was made they left us alone for a few minutes after clearing us for descent, monitored our flight path while we sorted ourselves out and anticipated the fact we needed to dump around 15,000 kg of fuel.
Their vectors were spot on and commands both timely and well anticipated seeing that we had to perform several checklists before our return in very average weather conditions.
Never once did they interrupt while we sorted and managed the problem.

Another time while delayed on a Singapore-Sydney service and pushing curfew, the controllers cleared us from the Australian FIR Boundary near Bali direct to Rivet, then Glenfield for a landing runway 07.
Needless to say we were unable to obtain a dispensation, but thanks to good controlling landed at 10:57 pm.

The shear professionalism of these guys is right up there in my book and saved our company and pax alot of inconvenience.
Sure, we dont always get what we want but there's always a reason for it.

Stop your whinging guys, venture offshore and see whats out there in the big bad world, then I reackon you'll realise our ATC's are right up there with the best.
TIMMEEEE is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 10:15
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Planet Plazbot
Posts: 1,003
I am an ATC. I don't give a f(_)ck what u dudes think. Perhaps we should start a thread about the best plumbers in the world or maybe the loudest farters. I do all three with 100% dedication so eat me.
tobzalp is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2004, 11:12
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Posts: 618
Stats are neccessary if you wish to compare efficiencies quantatively.

Anything else is purely subjective - and in some cases here totally immature and emotional.

To state subjectively how good an entire ATC system is based on your own gripes is no reasoned measurement.

Pilots commenting on how good ATC is is like ATC commenting on how good pilots are - neither are in a position to evaluate each other because neither know all the circumstances or enough about what is going on either side of the microphone / datalink.

So in the cold hard measurement of efficiency I will look at the facts - nothing but the facts - backed up by data.

Otherwise this will be come another debate with the scientific credibility of Dick Smith.
Uncommon Sense is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.